When I became a novice monk, I lived in a temple where the atmosphere was quite like in a family. The abbot is like a father and other monks are like your big brothers, your small, younger brothers. It is a kind of family.
I think that personal experience is very important, but certainly it shouldn’t be a kind of shut-box and mirror-looking, narcissistic experience. I believe it should be relevant, and relevant to the larger things, the bigger things, such as Hiroshima and Dachau and so on.
I just think we’re on this rock orbiting a sun that’s going to go out, and I don’t know that human society is necessarily a wonderful thing for the planet. I think people can be kind to one another and share things, but I don’t know that this particular iteration of civilization is to be preferred to any other.
The brain may be regarded as a kind of parasite of the organism, a pensioner, as it were, who dwells with the body.
My mother was a great storyteller and a great historian in her own way. She only made it to third grade. She came from Mexico City at the tail end of the Mexican Revolution and that kind of turmoil and chaos and frenzy and also excitement.
Indifference may not wreck a man’s life at any one turn, but it will destroy him with a kind of dry-rot in the long run.
America is just the country that how all the written guarantees in the world for freedom are no protection against tyranny and oppression of the worst kind. There the politician has come to be looked upon as the very scum of society.
The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions – the little, soon forgotten charities of a kiss or a smile, a kind look or heartfelt compliment.
I wanted when we began this to have a conversation, the kind that you’re able to have, and the only way I knew how to do it was not to have a pre-interview.
To handle a language skillfully is to practice a kind of evocative sorcery.